IKEA Bookshelf Diy hack by Tracy Joy Jones

I Dreamed of a Library (Part 1) — Framing the Door

Six-and-a-half years ago, we were living with my parents, and desperate to find a home of our own. Our starter home had sold immediately, and the home we hoped to buy had gone to another family. It was a really challenging time for me personally. But after months of searching, we found the home we had been waiting to find. As I stood in the backyard, giddy with relief and joy and every emotion, our realtor begged me to play it cool. I knew I was going to fail completely, so I let him do the talking, kept my mouth shut, and by the end of the day, we had a contract.

The Library before moving in by Tracy Joy Jones

The Library before it was mine…

But from that first walk-through, I started dreaming what I would do with each room. I printed out the pictures we’d taken, and I started a dream notebook. I don’t know why I didn’t do it on Pinterest, but I didn’t. Maybe because I’m such a tactile person. I like to touch and feel and see it in person. But from day one, the tab for the front office room was entitled “Library” in my notebook — even though in the existing home, there weren’t any bookshelves. The room was full of boxes and clutter as the existing owners prepared to move. But I immediately saw floor-to-ceiling bookshelves along the back wall. I had boxes and boxes of precious books that had been in storage for years. I longed for them to be part of my world and find a place in my new home. So I called the room the “Library” and began to dream.

Home Dreams Notebook by Tracy Joy Jones

My Home Dreams Notebook… Library Plans

The only problem was, building bookshelves was at the very bottom of a long list of renovations and expenses with moving and repairs and home-ownership. Then this past January, I received a check in the mail for my devotional contributions to “All God’s Creatures.” By the way, you can order your copy of this year’s devotional here. I have devotionals in the next two years of this publication as well, for 2022 and 2023. They even have a devotional/daily planner with the All God’s Creatures theme. It’s really lovely. Anyway, I love writing for Guideposts. If you’ve been following my writing for very long, you already know I see God in everything. It’s so very easy to see Him in His creation.

But back to my story, I knew I wanted to do something memorable with my first significant paycheck in my writing career. Six-and-a-half years after we moved into our house, it was finally time to build our library.

My husband/hobby-carpenter was completely on board for it, but I was a little daunted. You see I’ve painted every square inch in this home, and I’ve now reached the point where I hate painting. Painting floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, with all of their nooks and crannies, seemed an overwhelming project. Not because I can’t do it, but after painting kitchen cabinets, every ceiling, every wall, a full closet install (I’ll show you this one in a later blog) and every bathroom, I simply don’t want to paint if I don’t have to paint. And that’s when I had the idea to use IKEA Billy bookshelves to create the adjustable, already painted shelves. I found pictures online where people had done amazing things with their IKEA hacks. Thankfully, Matt loved the idea and was up to the challenge of turning store-bought utility shelves into the work of art we’d imagined. No pressure at all.

Once we had a plan, we both tucked into the project with excitement. The first step was to fill in a random doorway leading into the library. We removed the rounded edges, and squared the drywall.

The useless door between the library and the living room

The useless door between the library and the living room

The useless door looking into the library (by Tracy Joy Jones

The view from the living room into the library. The door on the left is a coat closet

We then framed in the empty doorway to give us support for the drywall. Framing was the fun part for Matt. Neither of us loved working with drywall, but we certainly loved the end result. The noise level in our house immediately dropped. Instead of sound reverberating in a circle, the living room quietened. The library became a refuge.

Framing in the door

It’s not a door anymore!!! Framing in the open door.

Closing in the door - adding drywall

Drywall! You can’t believe how much quieter our house became with this step.

Thankfully, Matt and I are both artists because it came in really handy with taping and bedding drywall. There is certainly an art to it. However, we were thrilled with the end result which made the new section of wall invisible. The drywall isn’t painted in this picture, but you can see the progress. We didn’t finish painting the walls until we had trimmed out the bookshelves, so you’ll have to tune back in for that. And by the way, the navy color on my walls is Sherwyn Williams Naval. I love this color. I painted the “Library” this color in the first few weeks of moving in, and six-and-a-half years later, I’m still not tired of it.

The textured new wall

The door is gone! Textured drywall is complete and the next step is coming.

Love to you all, and thanks for following along. I know this is a little different than my usual blogs, but I hope you enjoy the journey as much as we enjoyed the process. It’s fun to share. Sign up for my newsletter and Blog in the right-hand column to get the next “Library” installation in your inbox. I can’t wait for you to see the finished result!

Related Posts:

Ikea Billy Bookshelf DIY Decorating a Library

I Dreamed of a Library (Part 1) — Framing the Door

Ikea Billy Bookshelf DIY Decorating a Library

I Dreamed of a Library (Part 2) — Assembling Bookshelves

Ikea Billy Bookshelf DIY Decorating a Library

I Dreamed of a Library (Part 3) — Lighting

IKEA Billy Bookshelf hack DIY library by Tracy Joy Jones

I Dreamed of a Library (Part 4) — The Reveal

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